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Sep 01, 2014

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RBPMail 7.07, July 2001

Real Beer Page Mail (RBPMail) began as a modest update to craft-brew events on the WWW. It evolved into a news digest and sometimes editorial forum. We present its contents here much as they were emailed to subscribers. Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.

In this issue:


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INTERBREW WEIGHS OPTIONS IN BASS DEAL

Britain's Office of Fair Trading has raised the possibility that Belgium's Interbrew could be allowed to keep a significant part of Bass Brewers if it gives up Britain's biggest selling lager, Carling. This was one of four potential "remedies" the OFT set out to address competition concerns stemming from last year's purchase of both the Bass Brewers and Whitbread's beer businesses. The Bass Brewers acquisition was derailed by former Trade Secretary Stephen Byers earlier this year, but the Belgian company won the OFT review after a judge ruled Interbrew had not been given enough opportunity to put forward alternative remedies to a straight sale of Bass Brewers. Interbrew has countered the OFT proposals with a solution that would allow it to keep control of Carling, seen as the jewel in the Bass crown. It would also keep Bass Ale and some minor brands and brewing capacity. In return, Interbrew would sell Bass Brewers' Scottish and Northern Ireland businesses, including existing rights to the Tennent's, Grolsch, Caffrey's, Worthington and Stones brands.

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ANHEUSER-BUSCH WINS BUD BATTLE IN RUSSIA

Anheuser-Busch has won the right to the Russian trademark for the "Bud" name after Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar's appellation of origin registration was rejected by the Russian Trademark Office. Budvar had attempted to file for the name "Bud" under an appellation of origin statute, but A-B successfully argued that "Bud" is not a geographic term. Anheuser-Busch now has the rights to sell Bud through virtually all of the former Soviet Union.

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LION NATHAN LOOKS FOR ALTERNATIVES IN CHINA

Brewer Lion Nathan said it is looking to boost capacity and perhaps make products other than beer at its Chinese breweries. Chief executive Gordon Cairns said the company was examining its options after ending talks with potential brewing partners in China to sell them its breweries. Cairns said Lion's Chinese breweries were operating at only about 30% of capacity. "So (we've said), let's see if we can get some (contract) brewing opportunities in China to try and fill the capacity. And the second thing is, let's look at the facilities and see if we can make more than beer there," he said.

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BRICK WILL SELL ALGONQUIN BRANDS TO MOLSON

Brick Brewing Co. has entered into a letter of intent with Molson Canada to sell its Algonquin trademarks to Molson Canada, and to enter into a production and distribution agreement with Molson whereby Brick Brewing will continue to produce and distribute the Algonquin beer brands. The Formosa brands and trademarks owned by Brick Brewing are not part of the proposed sale to Molson.

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STELLA ARTOIS STILL NO. 1 IN THE U.K.

Stella Artois lager increased its lead over Carling as Britain's top selling alcoholic beverage. Market research conducted by ACNielsen indicated that Stella's U.K. retail market value rose 23% to 300.27 million pounds ($420.4 million) in 2000 while Carling beer increased 11% to 161.45 million pounds. Both Stella and Carling are owned by Belgian brewing giant Interbrew, though current competition rulings require Interbrew to dispose of Bass Brewers, maker of Carling. The survey indicated that premium lagers and branded wines are growing in popularity while traditional British drinks such as Scotch whiskey, gin and ale are declining. "Spirit mixer" are also growing at a rapid pace.

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UNIBROUE KEEPS RIGHT TO CLAIM BEER GMO-FREE

Unibroue, based in Chambly, Quebec, recently won a legal battle with a federal government agency concerning advertisements classifying its beers as GMO-free. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency granted Unibroue certification during 2000 declaring its beers did not contain genetically modified organisms. When Unibroue used the certificate in advertisements in Quebec, the food inspection agency claimed the company broke food and drug laws, withdrew its approval and sought a court injunction against Unibroue's use of the certificate. Quebec Superior Court ruled in favor of Unibroue.

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INTERBREW TO CLOSE DEWOLF-COSYNS MALTINGS

Interbrew, parent company of DeWolf-Cosyns Maltings has announced it will close the famous Belgian malting facilities in 2002. "Following an in-depth study of the long term future of its malting business, Interbrew decided to close its malting plants in Belgium," according to a company press release. The move was expected.

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EU GRANTS EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO TERM 'BAVARIAN BEER'

The European Union has granted breweries in Germany's southern state the exclusive rights to the label "Bavarian beer." Germany's minister for consumer protection, Renate Kuenast, said EU authorities in Brussels had allowed the breweries in the country's southernmost state to protect the name after nine years of negotiations.

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SWEDEN ASKED TO STOP TAXING WINE MORE THAN BEER

The European Commission, which implements European Union policy, has formally asked Sweden to stop taxing wine -- most of which is imported from other EU countries like France and Italy -- at a higher rate than beer, most of which is produced at home.

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****WEB WATCH****

WIN 10 CASES OF BEER BREWED JUST FOR YOU
Do you know just what you want a great beer to taste like? Tell Real Beer about its flavors, talk about the ingredients if you want, discuss how it pairs with food. An international panel of judges will review the descriptions and pick the best two -- one a Belgian-style beer, one the style of your choice. Those beers will be brewed made at world- class breweries, and you'll receive 10 cases of this beer in custom- labeled bottles. Michael Jackson will provide hand written tasting notes.

http://www.realbeer.com/contest

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AMERICAN BEER MONTH
American Beer Month II launched officially June 29 in Philadelphia and continues throughout the month. We've put together a list of events and created 52 discussion forums so you can talk to others out in the field, looking for great American beers, great brewpubs and outstanding bars.

http://www.realbeer.com/spotlight/abm

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POPPING CORKS IN ANTWERP
Michael Jackson sits in on the first tasting of the Champagne-style beer Brut Reserve, made by Belgium's Malheur brewery, and offers his impressions. The beer has a secondary fermentation in the bottle, after which the yeast is frozen and removed as in the Champagne method. It will first be offered in the United States to members of Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium beer of the month club.

http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/19133-001558.php

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PHILOSOPHY OF BEER
A philosophy teacher tells his class: "If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are most important to you. Take care of the rocks first -- the things that really matter. The rest is just sand." But a student has something else to teach him about life and beer. We don't want to spoil the story, but you may read it at ...

http://www.worldofbeer.com/brightbeer/philosophy.php

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*****************REAL BEER PICKS***************
ARROGANT BASTARD T-SHIRT EXCHANGE
Hang your head in shame no more! Here's a rare opportunity for mass- marketing victims to redeem themselves this July during Stone Brewing's Fizzy Yellow Beer T-shirt Amnesty Month. Those seeking to reclaim their self-respect can trade in their fizzy yellow beer T-shirts for the new Arrogant Bastard Ale "Fizzy Yellow Beer is for Wussies" T-shirts by following the simple steps at

http://www.stonebrew.com/amnesty

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QUICKIE EMAIL SURVEY
Thanks to all who have been replying to our Quickie Surveys. We draw one winner each month for a prize, which this month is a Real Beer T- shirt. The winner in June was John Eisenstein.

LAST MONTH'S QUESTION:
If certain lawmakers and their allies get their way, beer bottles will soon be sporting much larger and brighter warning labels. We asked readers if they thought such labels would hurt beer sales. An overwhelming 92% said no. However, reader Brett Herman made a very good point: "In this case, I think brewers should lobby for minimum branding space on their containers and packaging. I pictured myself and the missus at the local Safeway one day twenty years from now: 'Gimme the flashlight, hon, I think I found the Guinness!' Further, I think all this protective labeling treats me like a moron."

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*********** Brewed Fresh For You! **************

The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew websites to check out:


http://www.bass-museum.com
http://www.brewguild.com
http://www.bobbrews.com
http://www.brewtek.com
http://www.beerbrew.com
http://www.neoncentral.com
http://www.soundbrew.com
http://www.hopfweisse.de/en
http://www.beachchalet.com
http://www.bigsys.com
http://www.homebrewhq.com
http://www.meheen-mfg.com
http://www.wildales.com
http://www.sapporobeer.com
http://www.spartanburgstainless.com
http://www.thirdstreetaleworks.com

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ROLLBACK ON BEER TAX PROPOSED

The beer industry is mounting its most aggressive effort in years to roll back an increase in the tax on beer imposed in 1990. The rollback would benefit larger breweries more than the smallest. Congress doubled the tax to $18 a barrel -- about a dollar a case -- in 1990 when it also passed tax hikes on luxury items such as planes and yachts. Three years later, most of the luxury taxes were rescinded, but the beer tax remained. "It's an equity argument," Miller Brewing Co. spokesman Michael Brophy said. "It's certainly not a luxury item, and it's already taxed at the state level and will still be taxed at the federal level. There's a basic fairness issue." Rep. Jerry Kleczka (D-Wis.), one of the bill's 150 co-sponsors, admitted that chances of passage are slim. When the law increasing the tax passed in 1990, small brewers retained an exemption that taxed their production at $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels sold. Therefore, breweries that do not produce 60,000 barrels will not benefit, and the gains for those making more than 60,000 per year would relate to how much more than that figure they produce.

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BRISTOL BREWING BREWER DIES IN RACING ACCIDENT

Bristol Brewing Co. head brewer Ralph "Chandler" Bruning Jr. -- an immensely popular figure in both racing and brewing circles in Colorado -- died in an accident June 28 while driving his super stock car up Pikes Peak during a qualifying run for the 79th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Co-workers said they took some comfort in knowing that Bruning died racing his car -- doing something he loved, and learned from his father. Ralph Bruning, was the race's greatest driver, winning the event's stock car division a legendary eight times. Chandler Bruning's friends said they imagined what it must be like for the little boy who stood on the mountain to see his father, his hero, again. "I'm sure Chandler is up there trying to tell his dad about everything that happened in the last 18 months," Hanlon said, "and Ralph is saying, 'Yeah, Chandler, I know. I've been watching.'"

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MAGIC HAT BEER HONORS VERMONT'S JEFFORDS

Vermont's Magic Hat Brewing Co. has added a beer called Jeezum Jim to its lineup of craft beers, named in honor of Sen. Jim Jeffords. Jeffords recently left the Republican Party to become an Independent, thereby giving control of the U.S. Senate to the Democratic Party. "This beer is for everyone who follows their convictions," said Alan Newman, co-founder of Magic Hat. Magic Hat originally brewed the beer for this spring's Jazzfest in Burlington, VT. The brewery decided to make a commemorative batch of 1,000 cases after receiving inquiries from across the nation.

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NEIGHBORS WANT TO KEEP VAGRANT DRUNKS IN PUBS

Camden Council in North London, where residents complain about the high number of drunks congregating, plans to set up clubs to end the nuisance. It hopes to secure sponsorship from breweries to sell discounted cans of beer. Julian Fulbrook, chairman of the social services committee, said: "We're not trying to encourage anyone to drink, certainly not to excess.... If they come inside, we can provide them with some medical attention, housing and benefits advice and, if they want to take advantage of it, we can set them on the road to recovery." Many experts on alcohol addiction are properly concerned about the plan. "These people need advice and counseling, not cheap alcohol," said one.

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BELGIAN SCHOOL CHILDREN MAY DRINK BEER AT LUNCH

Beginning this September, schoolchildren in the Limburg province of Belgium will have the choice of low alcohol beer for their lunch. The beer, 2-2.5% brews known in Belgium as tafelbier or "table beer," was made available to students this spring in a pilot project instigated by the local beer appreciation group, De Limburgse Biervrienden. More than 80% of the children who took part in the scheme preferred the beer to soda pop and the project is expected to be expanded to other schools this fall.

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BEER THAT BENEFITS FISH TO EXPAND FROM QUEBEC TO ONTARIO

Two young biologists who have raised more than $20,000 for an endangered Quebec fish by selling beer will take their style of environmental activism and beer marketing to Ontario next year. Alain Branchaud and Andree Gendron launched Rescousse (Rescue) beer in Quebec two years ago. They convinced Le Cheval Blanc, a Quebec microbrewery, to brew the beer and to donate a portion of profits to a provincial environmental organization working to save the copper redhorse, a large copper-colored fish found nowhere in the world but a few rivers in Quebec. A decision has not been made yet what species to feature when Rescousse is launched next year in Ontario.

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DIAL-A-BEER QUIZ

About 500 pubs in the U.K. are now offering a text-messaging trivia quiz. Here is how it works: Players are asked to ring a number on their wireless phones and are then sent a series of text messages, these contain a trivia question with a choice of three possible answers; the player has to pick the correct answer and send it back, also via text message; and players who manage to answer three consecutive questions correctly will win a free pint of beer.

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NATIONAL HOMEBREW COMPETITION RESULTS

Steve Jones of State of Franklin Homebrewers in Tennessee won Homebrewer of the Year in the American Homebrewers Association annual National Homebrew Competition, Brian Cole of the Mountain Ale & Lager Tasters (MALT) in North Carolina won the Ninkasi Award and the Kansas City Biermeisters repeated at Homebrew Club of the Year. Complete results:

http://beertown.org/AHA/NHC/2001/final_winners_01.htm

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EDITORIAL: AMERICAN BEER MONTH II

As we celebrate American Beer Month this July let's not overlook the fact that American beer drinkers have fueled the unprecedented beer renaissance of the past 30 years

When industry members gathered in Philadelphia June 29 to kickoff the second American Beer Month, Institute for Brewing Studies director Paul Gatza, said, "The quality and diversity of American beer has never been better ... The only time it may be better is perhaps tomorrow."

He's right, but it wouldn't have happened had American beer drinkers not reached into their wallets to support brewers who make styles from around the world, make them well, and aren't afraid vary from the recipe produced by Hans the Brewer down the street.

These drinkers are everywhere. Yes, as you would expect they frequent brewpubs, multi-taps and bars that are staunchly pro craft beer (whether it comes from smaller brewers in the United States or elsewhere). But they are also on the barstools next to the drinkers who still favor mainstream beers, and they remind us that this is not an elitist movement.

It's not possible, for instance, to visit the Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philadelphia and not be optimistic about the future of American Beer. Few of those who ventured to Philadelphia June 29 for American Beer Month's opening ceremonies made it to the Grey Lodge, but those who did discovered these beers on tap:

Dogfish Head Aprihop, Heavyweight Two Druid's Gruit, Flying Fish Summer Farmhouse Ale, Victory Whirlwind, Yards Saison, Yuengling Lager, Woodchuck Cider, Budweiser and Coors Light (one tap was open). Who can't find a beer to drink on that menu?

There's one cooler with craft beer, both American and imported, and another with industrial lagers (because of Pennsylvania liquor laws, bars are one of the best places to buy beer by the six-pack). The food is basic -- although the tomato pie at $4.50 is both a bargain and strangely intoxicating -- and the setting (mostly) blue-collar bar.

There are electronic and video games, including shuffle bowling, board games, TVs and a few animal heads. The tile floor isn't in very good shape, and the upholstery on the semicircular booths is well worn. These are things nobody mentions when the recommend the Grey Lodge. They send you there for the beer and to see the smallish bathrooms, which are lovingly decorated with art tile featuring beer quotes.

This week the pub hosts Friday the Firkinteenth, which happens whenever there is a Friday the 13th. The Grey Lodge will offer 10 cask- conditioned ales from breweries throughout the region, and the event will draw beer drinkers from all around Philadelphia for good reason. These kind of events are good for both the pub and the breweries, but may be no more important than an average Tuesday evening, when one customer might be drinking a beer from Yards Brewing while the guy next to him has a Coors Light.

That first customer could be a former Coors Light drinker, but there's little chance the second switched from Yards to Coors. Think about it, and you'll understand why we suspect the next 30 years of American Beer can be even more exciting than the last 30.

P.S. Pictures of the bathrooms are at www.greylodge.com/restrooms.htm.

 

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